2011 Nissan Cube SL 1.8 from North America

Summary:

Don't judge a book by its cover!

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong. It is a new car.

General Comments:

What a surprisingly serendipitous experience!

I test drove this car on a whim and BANG... I bought it!

I've already put it through its test course by driving it up to the interior of British Columbia, Canada from Abbotsford.

There were no hiccups, and the Xtronic CVT gearbox is quite a performer.

To say I love the Cube is an understatement! I am enjoying all the creature comforts from the technology package to the humongous headroom! It's like sitting in an empty concert hall in that little cutie. Fuel economy is up there in the top rated autos also. 45 miles per gallon on the highway is nothing to sneeze at!

This car is all about practicality, and for my line of work, it's perfect!!!

I gave this brand (first Nissan I've ever owned) top marks because it just feels right! I have a good feeling that I will be enjoying this ride for many years to come!

Drive one! You'll see why!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th December, 2011

11th Jul 2014, 23:51

That must be one heck of a 4 cylinder engine - getting 10 out of 10 in performance!

2009 Nissan Cube SL 1.8 FI gasoline from North America

Summary:

This car doesn't like me

Faults:

Whoever installed the Command Start, bypassed the Factory Key-less entry incorrectly, so you did not need the Fob/Key to start the car. This was fixed kindly by the dealer when I purchased the vehicle (54760Km).

Shortly after my purchase, the fuel gauge stopped reading full, maxing out at 7/8th of a tank. Required replacing the fuel sending unit. Also covered by Nissan/Dealer (59970km).

Blower motor stopped working, Nissan had a private TSB about this problem, so even though it was no longer under warranty, it was replaced free of charge. I'm told it's a design flaw where mild weather allows moisture to get into the motor, and then freeze when it gets cold out (63450km).

Sometimes in the cold, my vehicle would not want to start. I always assumed it didn't like the cold. Until it happened on a beautiful +3 day in January. When it finally started, the drive-by-wire throttle failed (Nissan says it's a "fail-safe" feature) so the car would idle, but not move. Nissan had to put a whole new CVT into it. Which took about 2 weeks to arrive. Luckily it was again covered by the warranty and my dealer experience was excellent (64739km).

(Total warranty bills I signed for Nissan $7000+. If I had to pay those, I would have walked. I could buy 5 more Saturn SL1s for that price haha)

General Comments:

This car caught my eye on my trip to Japan several years ago. I loved its unique styling, that no other car has. When I heard they were coming to North America, I was quite excited. Being a student, I was unable to purchase a new one with the options I wanted. So I waited for a pre-owned unit to be available somewhere in Winnipeg.

In November of 2010 I found one, it was almost fully loaded (no leather, or mood light option) and very well priced, mostly due to the higher mileage of the unit. Considering the lowest mileage vehicle I had ever owned was my Saturn (which I got at 155000, now at 210000+ and I drive it daily) 55000 seemed very low.

The car appeared to be very well cared for, with a single chip in the paint just by the rear drivers fender lip, and the odd surface scratch on the interior.

It was love at first sight. I love almost everything about the car, the polarizing conversational looks. The smooth ride and sofa style seats remind me of 80's Cadillacs without the drawbacks.

The car handles well, though the steering is not sporty by any means. The car is very economical, and the engine, mated to the CVT, is spirited but still slow; a 2.0 engine would be great. The push button start is my favorite overall feature, with my favorite secret feature is the cheap to insure vehicle classification of "Sub-Compact".

The stereo is fantastic. I never get road rage as I sit with great visibility in a relaxed driving position with great tunes bumpin.

Now the bad news. The passenger window is very weak for a car 2 years old. It doesn't handle nice on icy roads; the the stability control has to kick in to save me even when it's nothing but icy highway and a gust of wind. The ABS is a little too sensitive, and the car really needs a little more power.

NOW these things are all fairly easy to overlook, and I like embracing new technology. I do prefer a manual gearbox, but the CVT was practical for the family.

I do drive my cars hard, and aggressively, however they are extremely well maintained; full synthetic oils, and even if my brake pedal is a bit spongy, I start changing parts to fix the problem. I wash the car every week and personally wipe/wax and spray an oil additive to prevent rust bi-monthly. The Saturn SL1 and the Astro Van I had (both GM) take to this treatment with outstanding reliability. The odd component fails on them, but when visually inspected it's clearly due to age.

I do a lot of research, and hearing so much about foreign reliability, I expected a lot... A LOT more from my Cube. I really want to like it, and I try to think I just got a bad apple. The dealer has been fantastic in handling every problem I experienced with the vehicle, but I've started to look at other vehicles, and I've only had this one 4 months (the Saturn is going on for its 4th year).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd March, 2011

23rd Mar 2011, 10:06

Please read your annual Consumer Reports auto guide that comes out once a year in April before you buy any car out there... it will give you the good and bad of most cars made... Nissan had some problems with the new Cube, and hopefully they will get that car right...

23rd Mar 2011, 22:02

I'm not the Cube owner, but I read Consumer Reports. Don't they recommend the Versa? My understanding is that the Cube is built on the Versa platform, so you'd think it would be a safe bet for solid car. Personally, I wouldn't go near one. I can't stand how it looks. The only boxy car that looks good to me is the Kia Soul.

24th Mar 2011, 16:37

Yes, you are right... The Versa and the Cube share the same platform.... along with about 11 other models that Nissan makes on that regular or stretched global platform ..... but understand that the Cube came out in 2009 and the Versa came out in 2007... if you look at the current history of many new Nissans, they are taking a little while to get some of the bugs out of some of their cars... whether new or redesigned ones... I believe the Cube will improve in reliability as time goes on...

Also the Kia Soul looks promising... but I would wait to see what the future reliability will be... maybe 1 or two years... Also to see if the square design has played itself out.... many manufacturers are coming out with new cars right now... but because they are new... no one is sure of their long term reliability... and breaking down in a car that you are still making payments on is no fun...

14th Jul 2014, 18:31

I like the Cube. They remind me of the Nissans that I see when we visit Bermuda. I would even consider buying one if they only offered it with AWD. They seem very practical.

16th Jul 2014, 17:43

Sorry to learn that Nissan is discontinuing the Cube in 2015. I like them much better than the Kia Soul - which is a huge seller.